A Family Restored
By Nadine Bradt
Bob and I had been married for 16 years when the day came that he informed me he wanted a divorce. Our marriage had been rocky; the abuse was verbal on both our accounts, and our three sons had been witness to much of it. (We forget that furnace ducts are good sound transmitters.)
On this particular day all three boys had attended the last day of Vacation Bible School and had gone with our pastor’s family to the lake, leaving Bob and me at home alone.
The date was August 15, 2003 and I can only say that this was the day I came to the end of me. In the sixteen years of our marriage I had managed to put up a wall between God and myself, a wall I had only recognized being there five months earlier at an Alpha retreat that my husband and I attended. I tried to pray through this wall, but it was too big for me. Satan had more control over that wall being there than I would acknowledge.
When Bob said the words, “I want a divorce,” many things happened. First of all I broke. But I reached out and God was there. In my pain I felt enveloped in a wave of love I had never experienced prior to this day. This was the day I was born again. The year that followed for me was a year of prayer, discovery of Christianity, and a year of God placing the right Christians in my path. I became best friends with a wonderful lady, Virginia, who I knew was in similar circumstances and together we joined Covenant Keepers, which had been suggested to her by her former pastor.
Before Covenant Keepers it had never even occurred to me to stand for my marriage. My mind was already considering pursuing other relationships. When I was told about standing I remember thinking “I can do that!” I didn’t move out of our home right away. I actually moved out September 30, 2004, a week after returning from my first Covenant Keeper’s retreat.
I still wasn’t sure if I was eligible to stand as my husband had been married and divorced prior to our marriage. I prayed for guidance and continually received the message, “patience, and perseverance.” Not understanding what this actually meant I pursued a relationship with Christ. I attended countless Bible studies, I was baptized, I became a member of the church I was attending, and I prayed. I was not lonely and in time, God made it evident to me that His plan for me was to stand.
During one prayer time I recall pleading with God, “How long?” The response I received was “9”. Nine weeks? Nine Months? Nine years? I didn’t know. Nine months later, I became very depressed as I was convinced it meant nine years.
Reconciliation became an obsession, which finally came to an end. I recall my pastor’s wife praying with me and when we were done she was in tears. She was so confused because in her words, “By now we should be seeing some signs.” She was as distraught as I used to be and I remember calmly saying, “God told me it would be nine.”
In 2008 I began requesting prayer for reconciliation in general during our prayer time in our Sunday service. I started noticing reconciliation between Bob and our youngest son. Then Bob started calling. We hadn’t spoken much in about a year. In October I attended a Covenant Keeper’s retreat in Regina. As the worship team lead us in praise and worship I could really feel God’s presence. I stood in expectation and after years of hearing “patience and perseverance” I heard what I had been waiting for; “Soon.” I remember being all excited and thinking I needed to do something to make this happen. Very clearly I remember feeling God’s disapproval. I was to do nothing.
In January, 2009 the woman Bob had been living with moved out of our home. I prayed for guidance. I wanted to invite him to Alpha, but I didn’t want to interfere with God’s plans. When I took a chance and invited Bob he accepted, but did have some reservations. Our first week at Bible study Bob introduced me as his wife. He said the reason he was there was to make things right between us. This was the first time I had heard him voice any hope.
Eventually, we started counseling with our pastor. In September Bob asked me to move back into our home. I did so on September 28, 2009, five years after I had moved out; the ninth month of 2009. On October 10 we renewed our wedding vows. Our oldest son, Rob and his girlfriend came from Winnipeg, our son, Gord came from Edmonton, our youngest son, Warren, my mother, and my brother also attended. We agreed we wanted to keep it very small. The day was very emotional. Our son Gord, my mother, and my brother were all very skeptical.
Since the renewal of our vows my mother and brother have come to accept Bob back into my life. Gord was home for Christmas in 2010 and for the first time he seemed like his old self. God has been working miracles in our lives, bringing us all back together and we praise and thank Him for all He has done.
Bob and I continue to attend Bible study and he operates the sound system at our Sunday service. Each week I request prayers for reconciliation. I try to wait and give others the opportunity because things changed for me when I found the courage to publicly request prayer. I’m known as “The Reconciliation Lady.”